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The ultimate guide to getting online advertising results in 2016

We all have an advertising budget, but determining where the best spend is varies, so which is best for you in the coming year? We’re watching the trends and have some meaningful insight into what will work in 2016.

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Pay to play is the way

Pay to play. A very popular phrase among the 21st century businesses. Too bad no one taught the kids who were picked last in kickball this term. They might have actually not been picked last.

Paying to play has become an instrumental technique in this wild and crazy informational era we live in. Content is thrown in front of us at speeds faster than an major league pitcher could ever reach. Which means we need to find new and creative ways to grab the attention of the attention depleted and semi-annoyed consumer.

Besides being creative and demanding attention, paying for it is very much an acceptable and strategic move on our parts. The people yearning for the attention.

What’s the best way to pay to play?

How do we best execute the pay to play strategy to get in front of the people who need our services or products?

There are a lot of choices, but I have compiled the 5 best places to use as part of your pay to play model. In this aaamazing post, we will review each channel along with a few easy tips you can use right away to effectively get in front of the people you serve.

Without further ado…the top 5 pay to play outlets.

1. Google AdWords Search Network

You know when you search for shoes, diapers, restaurants, weight loss programs or software you get a string of search results. Planted at the very top in the first 3 spots are the advertisements that look like search results, but have the little yellow box to the left that says Ad. Then there a long list of 10 mini listing ads on the right hand side…those are the search ads.

The search ads are the longest tenure and still very effective online advertising channel. There is no denying how effective these ads are, but at what costs.

They are and can be really freaking expensive. I just typed into the Google Keyword Planner keywords: real estate agent and real estate broker.

The keyword real estate agent was estimated to be around $7.72 a click. A CLICK!

Real estate broker was $17.32 a click. WHAT?! That’s ridonculous.

And it really depends on your business because the keyword pizza delivery austin is $4.45 a click. Pizza delivery san francisco comes in at $3.31 a click.

The market and keyword depend on the click. $3.31 and $4.45 are not horribly expensive, but compared to the cost of a click on Facebook being around $0.53 to as high as $1.38. I haven’t really seen anything higher than $1.50, yet.

$3, $4, and $17 a click is light years ahead of the cost on Facebook.

But there are ways to get a really good return on your investment while not paying the highest cost per click on Google. If you create highly focused ads with highly focused keywords with highly focused landing pages that convert…then you will see your quality score go up, click through rates go up, and cost per clicks go down.

That’s right…Google rewards you for having highly clickable ads with high quality scores. The reward being a lower cost than a competitor with a lower quality score and click through rate to be a the top of the ads.

So, if you choose to give the AdWords search ads a try…do your research and spend time setting everything up on the backend before you launch. Create a plan and a strategy. Make sure to test your sales funnel. You will save yourself a ton of money and time.

In conclusion… AdWords is still a very effective outlet for the pay to play model. Most people are ready to buy in search ads. The true success is what you do after people visit your site or opt-in.

2. Google AdWords Display Network

Google AdWords Display Network is a secret weapon, in my opinion. Not a whole lot of people know about the capabilities or take advantage of the opportunities with the Display Network ads.

Let me give you a quick breakdown. Google’s Display Network has partner sites that they distribute advertisements to. Some of the partner sites include Google properties such as Google Finance, Gmail, Google Maps, Blogger, as well as over one million Web, video, gaming, and mobile display partners. Other partner websites include Inc. Magazine, ESPN, Wall Street Journal, and more.

The ads are displayed as text, various banner images, and even some animation ads.

The magnificent part of the Display Network is that you can create highly targeted ads based on data from the internet to target your audience on the websites they are spending time on. And I’m not talking about remarketing.

I’m saying you can create ads going after mom’s or business consultants and place ads on the websites/blog they are reading and consuming information on.

You only pay for the click, which can be relatively low in comparison to some keywords. However, the clicks and impressions will be lower than the search network.

The clicks will be more qualified because it is highly targeted. If you choose to go the banner image route, you do have to create a number of image size variations because there are so many options.

Anyway, not to geek out too much…but if you are looking for untapped resource, this is a great avenue to explore. You do need to plan, strategize, and put some work into the image creation. However, if you have a good game plan with a strong sales funnel.

You are prime to get some major return on your investment.

3. Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising is the place to be right now. And as time goes on, it’s only going to become more popular, which means more expensive because their will be more bidders and higher bids on the ads.

If you want to start advertising on it, the time is now. The cost is still lower than the AdWords options. The amazing part of Facebook is the different options you have…mixed with the endless amount of data they have on the targeting options.

Facebook has data not just from their site, but from the millions of other sites that have the Sign In with Facebook button. The advertising targeting data is aggregated from every corner of the internet. Talk about powerful.

If you want to target men between the ages of 34 to 43 who live in 20 mile radius of Boston that have an income of $50k to $150k that are single and have a high purchasing behavior. You can.

For realtors…fuhgeddaboudit. The targeting options are even scarier. You can target people who are likely to buy a home soon or potential new homebuyers.

Scary, I know. But ultra effective nonetheless.

The targeting is extremely specific, which means your ads have to match it. The advertising options range from ads on the right column of Facebook to Dark Posts, which are ads that look like Facebook posts, but don’t show up in your Facebook page’s wall as a post. They are only seen by the target audience you created.

You have new options now like Facebook Leads, which allows you to gather leads for something in return like a guide, coupon, or such with one click. They stole that from Twitter who stole that from Amazon’s one click buy button.

The advertising options continue. But perhaps, that is another posts. What you need to know is that no matter who your customer is…everyone is on Facebook. It would be advantageous of you to at least test the different ad options on Facebook.

People are making a living on the Facebook Ads along. One line of caution, with something that is so powerful it does not come easy to be uber successful. Take it from experience, you can’t just create an ad, find a niche target, and expect money and leads to be flowing through the doors.

It’s a complicated medium to use because of all the options and the psychology of people on Facebook. My recommendation is to do two things. First, set aside money to gamble with. Second, invest in some training or hire a Facebook Advertising consultant to help you. Make sure the consultant knows what they are doing. Have them do a test run with you or ask for references.

As low cost as the ads are, you are still susceptible to lose money if you don’t invest it wisely and have a plan. Like an advertisement. Even with the risks, the rewards can be enormous.

4. Twitter Advertising

Twitter advertising has opportunity oozing out of every crevice. Might sound disgusting, but it’s true.

On Twitter, the costs range. It’s not as clear cut as Facebook or Google because of their options. The audiences are more targeted than Google AdWords search network and almost as rich in data as Facebook.

Twitter has come a long way. I was just looking at the behavior data…it has gone up 10 levels since six months ago.

For some people, Twitter works better than Facebook ads. Again, it comes back to your audience and the targeting you setup.

Some quick highlights of Twitter ads…you have the lead card option or the one-click advertising option. Remember, Facebook stole it from Twitter. Twitter allows you to offer people something special in exchange for their email address with just one click.

You can target people to engage with a tweet. You can target people by upcoming events such as sporting events, conferences, and so on. The opportunities are just endless with Twitter.

And the costs doesn’t have to be through the roof. You set the budget on daily spend and lifetime spend. So, if you have $10 or $10,000 you can use Twitter advertising.

Another channel you shouldn’t let pass you up.

One quick idea on how to use it…Twitter allows you to target people who like a certain TV show. If you know your customers are fans of a certain show or you want to target people who like a particular show then use that targeting and your creativeness to attract them.

For example, let’s say you sell wine or work in the wine industry or your customers like wine. You can target people who watch Scandal. Olivia Pope (the lead character) loves to drink wine when she unwinds from a long day of covering up politicians dirt and dealing with her daily momma drama.

That is a perfect way of getting in front of the fellow wine drinkers. You could even be a wine bar or bar that serves the sophisticated wine drinker. Get an ad with a picture of Olivia drinking a glass of red wine. Use clever content. Make them an offer even Olivia couldn’t refuse and bam! You could have a hit.

5. Remarketing & Retargeting

Remarketing, or retargeting as some might reference it as, is an advertising option that everyone should take advantage of. The best definition of remarketing is a little piece of code that put on your website. You can put it throughout your website or one specific pages.

So, when someone visits your website, no matter the source of the traffic…it could be from Facebook organically or a Google search or LinkedIn or Twitter or a referral partner. The code will shoot off a cookie to be placed in the browser. The cookie will then register data to the advertising portal that the code is associated with, which can be Facebook, Google, or Twitter…almost all advertising platforms have retargeting code or pixels.

The data will aggregate a list of people who have visited your site and visited specific pages on your site. You can build lists out for people who have down certain activities on your page..like reading a blog post or looking at an opt-in, but not taking action.

The key to remarketing is building those audiences, which you can do with the help of the other advertising campaigns.

For example, let’s say you wrote a blog posts specifically targeting mom’s who just had a baby who graduated from UCLA. You could call the blog 5 Eco-Friendly Products New Mom’s Who Graduated From UCLA Can’t Live Without.

You set it up on Facebook as a dark post. On the blog you add the pixels to track the audience. You also have calls to actions placed inside the post to have links to the 5 products page on your website.

The person goes to the blog post, they read it, love it, but get distracted and move on to a cat video on Facebook. That’s ok because you have a remarketing ad that follows them on Facebook. The ad is reminding them about the products.

You can also create custom audiences in Facebook and Twitter to target ads about something you might have pushed in a recent email blast.

You can build custom audiences by plugging in the email addresses of the people on your list for either Facebook or Twitter. So, if you make an offer in an email for a product or service, you can remind them about the offer on Facebook and Twitter with the retargeting ad.

You can setup pixels for Google Remarketing that will follow people who visit certain pages on your website. For example, if someone goes to a service page on your website. An ad can follow them around the web reminding them of the service you offer them.

Remarketing increases conversion rates up to 70%. Not a bad number to play around with.

You can setup the payment structure to pay per click. So, you are only paying for the people who click on the ad, which is a fantastic model…as long as your offer is converting.

The amount of people using remarketing ads are still by comparison low. You would be at an advantage to consider using a good portion of your advertising mulla on remarketing.

People who visit your site are more likely than anyone else to convert than someone new to your brand and website.

What have you tried and seen results in? I’d love to hear back from you peeps.

#Advertising

Brandon Lewin loves sharing his plethora of experiences, stories, and knowledge of everything marketing with the world with the goal to ensure everyone is marketing the right way. He's an entrepreneur, a marketer, a trainer, and most importantly, a devoted family man.

Business Marketing

TINA.org is helping the FTC crack down on Kardashian-esque influencers

(MARKETING NEWS) The Kardashians are just five of the seemingly endless amounts of influencers companies are using for marketing but TINA.org is over their tactics.

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A brand could find no better influencers than the Kardashians – the family who proved that you can get famous just for, well, being famous. Each Kardashian sister has an astronomical number of followers, making them obvious trendsetters.

That’s why brands pay the Kardashian sisters – Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, Kendall, and Kylie — tens of thousands of dollars a pop to post pictures of themselves on social media using their products.

Perhaps you find it hard to believe that the Kardashians stop by Popeye’s Chicken to grab a to-go meal before boarding their private jet. Regardless, the Kardashians, and the brands who pay them to pump their products, would prefer that you believe that these endorsements reflect the Kardashian’s actual preferences, rather than the paychecks they receive for posting them.

The Kardashians have been attempting to make their endorsements seem more “authentic” by totally disregarding Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules that require influencers to disclose when their posts are paid endorsements.

In August of 2016, Truth in Advertising (TINA.org) filed a complaint about the Kardashians to the FTC, saying that the (in)famous sisters had “failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose material connections to brands or the fact that the posts were paid ads, as required by federal law.”

After receiving a finger-wagging from the FTC, the Kardashian sisters corrected less than half of the posts, generally by adding #ad to the post. The remaining posts, according to a recent TINA.org follow-up investigation, either have not been edited at all, or contain “insufficient disclosures.”

For example, some posts now read #sp to indicated “sponsored” – as if anyone knows that reference. In another tactic that also got Warner Brothers and YouTube influencer PewDiePie in trouble with the FTC, the Kardashians are posting their disclosure information at the bottom of a long post so that users will only see it if they click “see more.”

The Kardashians have also been posting disclosures, but only days after the original post. Considering that the vast majority of viewers comment on or like posts within the first ten hours after it’s published, most of them will never see the disclosure when it’s tacked on days later.

Some of the “repeat offender” brands, who came up both in last year’s complaint and in the recent review, include Puma, Manuka Doctor, Jet Lux, Fit Tea, and Sugar Bear Hair. This time around, the Kardashians have also failed to disclose sponsorship on posts promoting Adidas, Lyft, Diff Eyewear, and Alexander Wang.

TINA.org found over 200 posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat where products are promoted without the Kardashians letting on that their raking in big bucks in exchange. The organization has notified the Kardashians, the brands they represent, and the FTC.

The FTC has recently been cracking down on deceptive influencer marketing, targeting not only the brands, but the influencers themselves.

In April, the FTC sent letters to 46 social media stars reminding them of their legal obligations to disclose, and followed up with 21 letters in September warning the influencers that they had until the end of the month to disclose sponsorships, or face legal consequences.

“The Kardashian/Jenner sisters are masterful marketers who are making millions of dollars from companies willing to turn a blind eye to the women’s misleading and deceptive social media marketing practices,” says TINA.org’s Executive Director Bonnie Patten. “It’s time the Kardashians were held accountable for their misdeeds.”

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Business Marketing

Dove dropped the olive branch with new ad campaign

(MARKETING NEWS) With any ad campaign there will be misses but take a note from Dove’s playbook and learn how to not repeat mistakes.

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Dove’s latest Facebook ad really hit the mark for whitewashing in advertising. The ad, since removed, essentially implied their soap could turn a black woman into a clean white woman.

In a three-second video on the company’s Facebook page, three women transformed into the next when they removed their shirts. The first transition caused an uproar: a woman of color lifting a brown top over her head to reveal a different woman, who is very, very white.

Although the white woman then lifts her shirt to reveal another woman with darker hair and a darker skin tone, the initial transformation is problematic in its implications of whiteness as cleanliness.

Dove has since removed the ad and issued an apology, stating in a tweet “In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused. The feedback that has been shared is important to us and we’ll use it to guide us in the future.”

Wait, haven’t we been here before? At this point you’d think skin care companies would have realized a little more delicacy is required when rolling out ad campaigns. Remember Nivea’s disastrous, short-lived “White is Purity” mishap? How about Dove’s other blunder in their 2011 VisibleCare ad?

These featured another series of three women standing in front of close-ups of skin, with the darker skinned woman in front of the “before” label, and the woman with the lightest skin by the “after” picture. Although Dove didn’t intend to imply white skin is cleaner, oops, that’s what happened anyways.

While Dove has gotten many things right in terms of inclusivity and featuring models of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, there have also been several instances of intentional racist missteps. Let’s use this as a teachable moment for handling marketing mishaps.

Whenever an ad campaign offends people, the company’s response can make or break the business. If you find yourself in the midst of a marketing crisis, you can take some mindful steps to manage the situation and begin repairing your public image.

First, acknowledge the problem and issue a genuine apology that gets to the core of what your audience is saying. Dove recognized they upset people, and instead of taking a defensive “sorry you felt offended” stance, took responsibility for their actions. Once an apology is issued, explain the original intent to provide context for the situation.

Dove meant to create an inclusive campaign featuring a diverse cast of women. Lola Ogunyemi, the first model featured in the now controversial shirt ad, has even defended the ad. She stated, “I can see how the snapshots that are circulating the web have been misinterpreted, considering the fact that Dove has faced a backlash in the past for the exact same issue. There is a lack of trust here, and I feel the public was justified in their initial outrage.”

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Business Marketing

Aori helps you pack a punch with AdWords

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Aori is the newest tool designed to help anyone using AdWords to kick more butt.

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Search ad campaign managers constantly wrestle with the best way to organize their keywords into campaigns. Most of these decisions strive to balance the time needed to manage the campaign with efficiency of campaign expenditures.

Take the SKAGs strategy, for example. The SKAGs (Single Keyword Ad Group) system is setup to trigger a unique ad for every single keyword by placing each keyword in its own group.

There’s lots of literature touting the benefits of the SKAG system. Generally, the hyper-specific match between ads and keywords improves click-through rates.

This leads to higher quality scores, which leads to lower costs for click, which leads to lower costs per conversion. The tradeoff with this system is the setup. You could be looking at hundreds of keyword groups to set up and maintain, and that’s a lot of work for a small business or startup.

This is where Aori comes in.

Their system helps to automate the process of setting up a SKAG system for your AdWords campaigns.

According to the website, the tool’s primary function is to automate keyword generation. Users enter a set of “root keywords” and common keyword extensions, and Aori will automatically generate all possible combinations of those keywords for your campaigns.

Additionally, through Aori, users can create ad templates using a “dynamic keyword insertion tool,” to enable you to utilize the strongest ad copy across multiple phrases.

In what is the least clear value point of the whole pitch, Aori also uses what they call a “unique bid-optimization algorithm.”

There is almost no detail to be found on how the algorithm works. If the tool handles all bid management for you, this could be a handy tool for PPC novices who are less familiar with the process and lack the time to learn it.

Aori appears to run cheaper than the others we know of, but that may be due to the level of automation available. For example, Aori requires the user to feed it keyword inputs, both root and extension words.

It’s also important to understand where a SKAG system can and can’t work. It is likely a better system for smaller campaigns where ad testing wouldn’t yield statistically meaningful results.

Because every keyword group targets one phrase, you can’t readily say that improvements in ad copy will translate to other campaigns.

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